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Wed, 30 Nov 2011, 16:23 PM

Brooks, Centorbi take over GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel Dragster
Courtesy of Rob Geiger

INDIANAPOLIS -- (Nov. 29) -- Respected tuners Aaron Brooks and Rod Centorbi have taken over tuning duties on Morgan Lucas' GEICO-sponsored Top Fuel dragster. Both men have extensive experience in drag racing, most notably alongside multi-time world champion Alan Johnson.

Brooks will head the operation. His most recent stint came at R2B2 Racing where he tuned the In-N-Out Funny Car driven by Melanie Troxel and the Rite Aid flopper of past world champion Frank Hawley.

Before working at R2B2, Brooks tuned Del Worsham in the Al-Anabi Racing Funny Car. He also served as assistant crew chief to Gary Scelzi when he won the 2005 title with Don Schumacher Racing. Brooks spent his formative years working for four-time world champion Don "the Snake" Prudhomme.

"Aaron's worked with some amazing drivers in the past and he brings a lot of experience to our team, especially for a younger guy," Lucas said of the 38-year-old from Hemet, Calif. "He's someone we want to grow with and I'm really excited he's joined our organization."

Fresh off winning the 2011 Top Fuel title with Al-Anabi Racing driver Del Worsham, Centorbi also brings a wealth of experience to his role of assistant crew chief. The 20-year pro served in the same capacity at Al-Anabi, both on Worsham's dragster and Funny Car. He also worked with Brooks in the past at Don Schumacher Racing when he took care of the cylinder heads on Scelzi's hot rod.

"Rod's skill set is significant," Lucas said. "The fact he's coming off a championship-winning season is really invigorating for everyone in the shop. It makes it real. I know he and Aaron will be able to turn this team around quickly and we cannot wait to get started with them. The off-season will go by in a flash, I'm sure."

Lucas actually tuned his own car during this year's six-race Countdown to the Championship with mixed results. He said the hiring of Brooks and Centorbi would allow him the necessary time to take care of other things vital to the operation of a modern-day race team.

"We have a tremendous relationship with GEICO and I want to be there for them 100 percent," Lucas said. "It's also very important to represent my mom and dad's company, Lucas Oil, and the hundreds of associates they have working for them around the world.

"I really enjoy the time I get to spend with the fans. I also like the interaction we have with the media, including all our friends at ESPN. Having Aaron and Rod lift the tuning responsibilities off my shoulders will allow me the time to focus on all these things."

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